Thomas Fay Hays, 61, of Barling, formerly of Van Buren, died in his sleep Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Barling, and was welcomed into Heaven by his loving Mama and Daddy and his son Colt. He was born Dec. 27, 1952, to Jim and Wilma Hays of Van Buren. He was a former member of the Arkansas National Guard, a tool and die fitter and a member of First Baptist Church in Van Buren. He was also a talented artist and spent many hours painting pictures as gifts for his family and friends. He loved a dog named Pixie that lived across the street and visited her daily, always keeping a supply of treats on hand for her. He had a heart of gold and will be dearly missed but his family and many friends are blessed in knowing he is now at complete peace.

Per his request, his body was cremated and was under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date at Ocker Chapel in Van Buren, with Dr. Elliott Hays officiating.

He was predeceased by his parents and a son, Colt Hays. He is survived by his daughter, Jessica Johnston of Atkins; two sons, Cody Hays of Napa, Calif., and Scott Lee of Mountainburg; three sisters, Jeanne Mendenhall (Don) of Van Buren and Ardia Anne Spellman (Mark) and Marilyn Ballentine (John) of Alma; five brothers, Dr. J.B. Hays (June) of Fayetteville, Wally (Kay), Alvy (Shirley) and Dr. Elliott Hays (Sherry), all of Van Buren, and Darrell Hays (Joann) of Ft. Smith; four grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Open Hands Ministry of First Baptist Church, 1121 E. Main St., Van Buren; the Gideons International, P.O. Box 1791, Van Buren, AR 72956, or the Sebastian County Humane Society, P.O. Box 10953, Ft. Smith, AR 72904.